Advice from Gripad: When is the Best Time for Weight Training?
Both men and women often wonder: “When exactly is the best time for weight training
?” The short answer? When it feels best for you. This may seem frustrating, but the reality is the optimal time varies due to physiological and psychological reasons which affect your performance.
Your body ebbs and flow throughout the day. These cycles are normal and are based on your individual circadian rhythm stimulated by the hypothalamus
. The hypothalamus is an area of the brain that regulates body functions such as temperature, metabolism and blood pressure—and all three affect your ability to lift weights. The warmer your body temperature, the easier and more productive your weight lifting workout.
Your mood also affects your training. If you feel more focused and alert first thing in the morning, the best time for weight training for your body might be earlier in the day. On the other hand, if you enjoy alleviating work stress with a challenging exercise session, an afternoon or evening workout may fit your rhythm.
Below, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of morning, afternoon, and evening workouts:
Morning Workout Pros/Cons:
Easier to stick with since your daily schedule will not interfere
Coincides with high testosterone levels to boost performance
Boosts your mood so you will feel better throughout the day
Performed with greater mental focus as you are not yet distracted, which leads to anincrease in workout intensity
More comfortable since temperatures tend to be cooler, especially depending on where youlive
Less crowded if you exercise at a gym
Lower glucose levels since you may be exercising on an empty stomach
Carry a possible heart attack risk
Show a greater incidence of strokes
Injure your spine if you are not properly warmed up
Afternoon Workout Pros/Cons:
Helps break through plateaus since pain tolerance is high
Easier since body temperature is rising and mind and body are in balance
Difficult since your body’s natural rhythm goes down
Evening Workout Pros/Cons:
Ability to lift greater volumes as stamina and coordination are peaking
Performed with less pain
Increased range of motion
May boost testosterone effect since cortisol levels are decreasing
Possibly interfere with sleep
Increase in breathing difficulties
May reduce nutrient absorption if you do not supply an adequate recovery meal
May be more challenging if you are tired from the day
Equipment wait time might be longer